Pioneers of Menard & Mason Counties
Including Personal Reminiscens of Abraham Lincoln & Peter Cartwright
By T.G. Onstot, 1902

Judge of Human Nature

Page 107

Cartwright was a fine judge of human nature; he could read a man's character by the time he got acquainted with him hence he had a different way of dealing with the various characters he met. There was one way he had with dealing with preachers to read their sermons; he believed that if God called a man to preach he would furnish him with something to say. "Open thy mouth and I will fill it," or "it shall be given you that how and what you shall say."

Fancy John Wesley reading one of his sermons. Fancy Christ reading his sermon on the mount. Fancy Peter preaching his Pentecostal argument by manuscript. Fancy Felix making his eloquent argument by note. Fancy all of the witnesses in all ages. Fancy presiding elder spending about six hours' at an appointment preaching a short essay that perhaps was borrowed and holding two quarterly meetings in a week leaving home Saturday morning and getting back Monday evening and then wanting about thirty dollars for the work that was worth two dollars and a half, and then compare their work with Cartright's that would make the rounds of district in six weeks. Preaching from seven to ten times a week and not getting on an average a dollar a day. It is no wonder that the "power has left the church and that the pastor can preach the whole winter and his words fall like water on duck's back without leaving any impression. Another common amusement of the present day is church fairs, church entertainments, where the church and the world meet on a common level, where the church lays aside her ecclesiastical toga and says lay there till I drink in this feast the world has prepared for me. In Cartright's time it was always in the guise of a dance. How he managed one of these gatherings is illustrated by the following anecdote.

Transcribed by:Brenda Hamilton Johnson



1902 Index

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Illinois Ancestors